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Comichaus Meets: Alan Henderson

Today we meet creator, artist & pun-machine, Alan Henderson!

/media/blog/library/alan-henderson.jpgPlease introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

I’m Alan Henderson the creator of the webcomic The Penned Guin. The team are a band of funny little penguins who tell funny little stories normally in a three panel newspaper strip style. The online daily strips have been running for over six years, so there are over 1500 comicstrips featuring more puns, bad jokes and parodies than you can shake a fish at. 

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

My personal inspiration goes all the way back to reading the Dandy as a child before moving into the wider world of comics. I became aware of the UK small press scene in the mid 2000’s by attending various comic cons - I was pulled into the realisation that there were stories and styles out there for everyone - from westerns by Andrew Cheverton & Tim Keable to comedic crime noir by Paul Grist.

Eventually I realised that I should give it a go myself and started to doodle penguins... When it comes to newspaper strips that I’m inspired by I’m drawn towards those that contain acerbic wit like Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, Dibert and Fred Basset. All of these help to demonstrate that you can strip back the art to appear as really simple but still tell so much of a story / deliver a joke with nothing more that a glance.

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

Living in a cold climate, unable to fly with a penchant for fish... I guess there is more than I first thought.  

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

I just try to produce comic strips that I find funny which means if I hear or see something amusing I’ll jot it down and let it mature before creating a strip from it. But I’ll also try to link strips together through themes - so if I start with, say, ‘learning to drive’ I’ll try to come up with several strips round this base idea.

What struggles have you faced with the creation of, and producing, the final release?

Six years of daily strips uses up a lot of ideas and it mean I need to keep going back to the well but so far it hasn’t ran dry. The final books have been fairly easy to produce by collating the online comics with a little bit of reorganisation for pacing. I’ve been very lucky to work with a very helpful printer who has made sure I’ve been able to get the books out to the best of my abilities. If anything the hardest part for me is often coming up with titles for the books.

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

The Penned Guin books can be read in any order and in fact you can dip in and out of each of the books. Just in the same way if you picked up a newspaper and you read the ‘funnies’.

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

The daily online strip continue and there will be a new Penned Guin collection towards the end of the year. You want penguins and puns - we’ve got penguins and puns. 

You can read Alan's titles over on the Comichaus App now, or purchase a print copy from the Comichaus Marketplace by clicking on the cover images below.


Thread Bear
Penned Guin  Vol.1

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